Each year, between 140 and 160 officers are killed in the line of duty and their families and co-workers are left to cope with the tragic loss. C.O.P.S. provides resources to help them rebuild their shattered lives. There is no membership fee to join C.O.P.S., for the price paid is already too high.
As many of us prepare for our first holiday, or yet another holiday without our loved one, I sit here pondering over some of the events from this past year. Ultimately, what strikes me most is that in the end, we have all been dealt a crushing blow to our lives and it is through C.O.P.S. that I have found as a source of comfort. We will all have our ups and downs within our families, our state COPS chapter or National leadership, but it is always another survivor that gets us most. I am again reminded why we have all been brought into each others lives. As we all often say, I wish we never met but am so thankful to have each of you in my life. As honest and blunt as I can be, I'm not sure I'd be here if it weren't for our Concerns of Police Survivors Family, or the love and support from my family and friends.
In our grief, often times we feel lost, as if the weight of the world is on each of our individual shoulders, alone, not knowing who to trust with the different dynamics many police survivors go through with such a public loss. During the holidays, these feelings are often exxagerated. Our family's grief is felt not just by our extended family and close friends, but also by those that worked with our officer, by our community, even a nation. Dealing with such a public loss, we go through stages of deep sorrow, anger, isolation, denial; many of us internalizing these emotions because it is expected of us to put on that "brave face". Feeling like we need to be strong for others. During the holidays, these feelings are often exxagerated.
But we have all learned, or are learning, how to truly live again. Our lives will never be the same but we learn to live our "new" lives. The lives that no one wants but through C.O.P.S., we are given the ability to find a peaceful place to live our lives with and for others. The holidays being especially important to do so for our families and the children in our lives.
Fortunately, in the safety of our Concerns of Police Survivors Family, we have all learned that we are not alone. Our pain, while as different as our relationships were to the officer, we are all dealing with a tragic loss that affects each of us deeply and personally. Within our organization, we have a safe place to cry, express anger, laugh and share the memories that so many others seem to be uncomfortable hearing. For us, it keeps the spirit of our officer alive to be able to share the stories of heroism, silly happenings, holiday traditions or our life as a family with them in it.
Today, I encourage you all to share your stories about your officer with others. Whether you are a parent, spouse, child, sibling, co-worker, REMEMBER your officer!! In a month that should bring joy and happiness, one way to still have a glimpse of that joy is by honoring, memorializing, remembering our fallen. Let these men & women live again through your words. I truly believe they hear it too!!
I have created a Facebook page titled Project Blue Light. I encourage you to visit it and see what it is I am trying to do. I want us to have a place where we can share the Dolly Craig's message, post our pics of our Blue Light decorations and perhaps, share your stories about your officer. For me, a way to allow my sister to still be alive in my life during the Christmas season. Our favorite holiday and the last day I saw her alive... Please feel free to check it out and post your pics, share your stories and forward on to anyone else you think would enjoy it. Our goal has been to reach 2,500 "Going" and so far we are almost at 1,700.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah & Happy Holidays!! While I won't be with each of you during the holidays, I always am in spirit. As always, I am just a phone call or email away!!
Educating the Public
Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc. provides resources to assist in the rebuilding of the lives of surviving families and affected co-workers of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty as determined by Federal criteria. Furthermore, C.O.P.S. provides training to law enforcement agencies on survivor victimization issues and educates the public of the need to support the law enforcement profession and its survivors.
Organized in 1984
C.O.P.S. was organized in 1984 with 110 individual members. Today C.O.P.S. membership is over 15,000 families. Members include spouses, children, parents, siblings, significant others, and affected co-workers of officers killed in the line of duty according to Federal government criteria. C.O.P.S. is governed by a National Board of law enforcement survivors. All programs and services are administered by the National Office in Camdenton, Missouri. Chapters function in several states at the grass-roots level.
2013 Fatality Statistics
May - 2013
Total Fatalities = 46Firearms-related = 17
Traffic-related = 16
Other Causes = 13
Please note: These numbers reflect total officer fatalities during the months of January 2013 through May 2013.